Hello Shiny Things

Ufffff… well, I guess I should start this post with an apology to both you and my neglected blog. Sadly I have not skipped off into some fibery sunset to develop new innovative chain plying methods, instead the reasons for my absence are rather more lame. Being the eternal optimist about time commitments, I had hoped that the last few weeks would just be standard levels of busy rather than ‘everything is on fire’ status.

It has been a mix of everything from highly exciting stuff to excruciatingly tedious and everything in between. All of it though has just demanded so much energy that there hasn’t been much left over for anything else. I have been working on a few crafty things I’ll share with you over the coming weeks, but the last few weeks haven’t been the bastion of creative freedom.

I’ve mostly been ignoring the long shadow of the pandemic over the blog because it has felt hard really to say much about it without feeling that it is being inconsiderate to someone, because, let’s face it, apart from a few Instagram loyalists with their banana bread who spent 40 % of their disposable income on Pret sandwiches and didn’t like their friends anyway, it has been pretty crap.

Now though the English government had decided it is all done and dusted and no persons whatsoever are at all being affected in any way, shape or form by SARS-CoV-2, then it is time I can have a bit of a whinge about it. (Please note liberal use of sarcasm.) Part of what has the made the last few weeks so hard is a lot of the fallout. My job relies heavily on three things, international travel, international shipping and needlessly complex bureaucracy. All of which have basically ground to a halt or become such tortuously complicated exercises that the only thing I want to do with needles is stick them in my eyes.

I spend a lot of time frustrated a crafter, with tricky bits of projects, not finding time to get things done etc. but unfortunately starting frustrated never, ever ends well. It’s hard to reap the soothing click of the knitting needles when your day feels like a re-enactment of a Kafka novel where, along with the mystifying obliqueness of it all, no one really cares or wants to take responsibility for anything ever.

However, I did finish this very cute beaded card, which is an oddly freeform sampling piece for me. I really like this one. Yes, it’s shiny and I’m genetically compelled to love shiny things but I really felt like nearly every idea I had started with translated really well to the finished thing. Some of the chain stitch in the petrol beads wasn’t as pronounced an effect as I was expecting and there is a ‘whoops’ moment with the green bugle beads and the sequins on the blue quadrant have meant that the line placement should have been done a little differently for the full balance. Overall though, I really like it.

Maybe it’s because it looks complex and fussy and fancy but was very easy to do? I love how beads in the same colour capture the light in different ways and can look completely different. Some of those green seed beads are brilliant for this. The large fake pearls are also very effective. I did switch my beading thread colour to a gold to do the small translucent Delicas on that quadrant – it is subtle but you can just about make out the hint of colour.

I love this square windowed design of card and it’s absolutely perfect for samplers but it is very unforgiving trying to get the design to sit properly. I didn’t work that hard to make sure all the edges would align and you can see some gapping where the squares deviate into oblong-dom but, again, the beads are quite forgiving as you can ‘hook’ them over the outside. I really like it though – I wish I could figure out how to properly mount the fabric for these cards without making something very thick as that always gives a better finish.

I apologise for all the grump in today’s post and hope next week will mark a return to your regularly scheduled programming. Until then, I hope you have lots of nice fibre to pet and projects to keep you amused in what has felt like a very topsy-turvy world.

11 thoughts on “Hello Shiny Things

  1. Thank you for managing to combine some excellent comments on the pandemic with some seriously gorgeous shiny stuff. I’ve also kept off the subject in my blogs because I hardly know what to say that doesn’t sound trite or empty. I just know that compared with others, and in the face of the world going to hell in a handbasket, I’ve been lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone’s got to vent at some point, and it sounds like you have been dealing with some tough situations. Your beading experiment is really pretty! I love the way you experimented with different beads and patterns 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I, too, have felt unable to say anything sensible about the last 18 months. Taking refuge with my needle (or crochet hook) has been one of the ways I’ve coped, but even that is hard.

    It’s hard to find, but you can get a very fine and light wadding to use in cards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you’ve been able to get on with some crafting but sorry to hear you’ve also been finding it difficult. I think the next person who asks ‘so what new skill did you learn during lockdown’ is going to get strangled.

      Thanks – I’ll keep an eye out.


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